On May 3rd, Intel unveiled its Advanced Vehicle Lab in Silicon Valley during the company’s first Autonomous Driving Workshop. The company’s Silicon Valley Lab joins Intel’s other labs in Arizona, Germany and Oregon. They have been created specifically to explore and better understand the various requirements related to self-driving vehicles and the future of transportation, including sensing, in-vehicle computing, artificial intelligence (AI), connectivity, and supporting cloud technologies and services.
At the Workshop, Intel – together with BMW, Delphi, Ericsson and HERE – presented the whole of its autonomous driving program with demonstrations, chalk talks and rides in a Delphi self-driving vehicle.
Here’s a quick summary of Intel resources from the event and resulting media coverage.
“Intel opens Autonomous Driving Garage, touts 5G and big data” (CNET): Intel, a company known for PC processors, sets its sites on the next frontier, opening a new facility at its San Jose innovation center intended for self-driving car development. Rather than the pristine offices and clean rooms where Intel develops its chips, its Autonomous Driving Garage will host self-driving car research vehicles, built through a partnership with BMW. At a ribbon-cutting event to open the Autonomous Driving Garage, Intel executives emphasized the extraordinary amount of data generated by self-driving cars, including the need for big, wireless data pipes based on 5G technology and artificial intelligence for processing.
Intels Kathy Winter (from left) Doug Davis and Patti Robb cut the entrance ribbon, officially opening Intels Silicon Valley Center for Autonomous Driving in San Jose, California, to the public on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. (Credit: Intel Corporation)
“Inside Intel’s new Autonomous Driving Garage” (TechCrunch): Intel opened a new Autonomous Driving Garage in San Jose this week, and the facility’s launch gave us an inside look at the kinds of projects the chipmaker is focused on with its driverless business. The relatively young business unit is already doing a lot, from HD mapping, to better wireless connectivity standards, to human machine interaction models, and beyond.
“Intel positions itself as the heart of autonomous vehicles” (Engadget): At the launch of the Silicon Valley Innovation Center for Autonomous Driving, Intel, along with BMW and Delphi, showed off the first highly automated vehicles the companies will be testing. For Intel — a company that’s been serious about autonomous driving for only about nine months — working with the German automaker is huge. But it’s not just partnerships that look promising. The chip manufacturer has also launched an AI division of its own, is poised to launch 5G vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, and is working on the “big data” problem of processing all that cross-platform sensor data. Intel even played to its technical advantage and put together an SDK so automakers and suppliers won’t have to change their code when they switch from testing on a low-cost Atom to graduating to a high-power Xeon processor.
“Intel and Delphi’s self-driving car handles Silicon Valley traffic just fine” (VentureBeat): Intel is testing a bunch of cars in the lab in San Jose. Jack Weast, chief systems architect for autonomous driving solutions at Intel, said that the multiple redundant sensors are necessary because you need to have the right tool for the job. You can’t build a house with just a hammer, and you need multiple sensors and a variety of processors to handle the tasks of a self-driving car.
“Inside Intel’s big plan to seize the wheel in self-driving cars” (Slash Gear): Autonomous driving is coming, and unsurprisingly Intel believes it should be at the heart of it. At the former Altera facility in San Jose, California, the company better known for powering your laptop and PC outlined its vision for driverless cars over the coming years. While collaboration is the name of Intel‘s game, make no mistake: it sees this as a prime opportunity to sell more silicon.
The next 5 years in AI will be frenetic, says Intel’s new AI chief” (PCWorld): Research into artificial intelligence is going gangbusters, and the frenetic pace won’t let up for about five years—after which the industry will concentrate around a handful of core technologies and leaders, the head of Intel’s new AI division predicts. Intel is keen to be among them. In March, it formed an Artificial Intelligence Products Group headed by Naveen Rao. He previously was CEO of Nervana Systems, a deep-learning startup Intel acquired in 2016. Rao sees the industry moving at breakneck speed.